The campaign to upgrade the Brighton mainline has more backers – and the campaign organisers want more businesses to give their support.
More than a dozen councils have now signed up to the Brighton Mainline Alliance, a group of businesses and organisations urging the government to fund more capacity on the railway line between Brighton and London.
Brighton and Hove City Council is among the 16 local authorities behind the campaign.
The key aim is to make some major changes around the East Croydon area to unblock a bottleneck.
The Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership said: “All 16 local authorities in the Coast to Capital area have now joined the Alliance bringing the total number of members to over 70.
“The campaign has also been included in Coast to Capital’s new Strategic Economic Plan – Gatwick 360 – as a transport priority to enhance capacity, connectivity and resilience.
“This railway investment is fundamental for businesses and central to the region’s links to London and international connectivity.”
Coast to Capital is calling for more businesses and organisations across the area to join the Brighton Mainline Alliance to add further weight to its strong collective voice.
Coast to Capital chief executive Jonathan Sharrock said: “We are thrilled to have such strong support for our campaign from businesses, local representative groups and our local authorities.
“Our region desperately needs stronger rail infrastructure and by speaking with a unified business voice we continue to make a strong case for investment.”
The proposed changes sought by the Brighton Mainline Alliance include
• A bigger, better East Croydon station
• Flyovers at the Selhurst Triangle
• A new layout at Lower Addiscombe Road and Windmill Bridge
• Improvements to Norwood Junction station
The Greater Brighton Economic Board’s new chairman, Councillor Garry Wall, who is also the leader of Mid Sussex District Council, said: “The Brighton mainline is not just a commuter line. It is an essential transport corridor which is crucial to the economic development of our city region.
“For too long though there has been severe underinvestment in this major transport route, making delays and disruption a daily occurrence.
“Quite simply, enough is enough.
“It is only by joining together and presenting a united front that we can present the case for long-overdue investment in our transport infrastructure.
“Our residents, businesses and communities are relying on it.”